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and administer a cohesion fund for the poorer parts of the UK.
Surely to be consistent, given such a degree of devolution on other matters any kind of relief for poorer areas would then have to be left to the national or regional parliaments to decide inside their own boundaries - in fact pretty much this amounts to the Council of the Isles that the English Democrats favour.

I think issues such as welfare are best decided bat a UK level and no one above or below and that there has to be a certain amount of Federal Law with regard to policing and Criminal Justice, and on Defence and Counter Terrorist policy, and transport & communications infrastructure these have to be matters for the UK parliament, but allowing for certain amounts of devolution equal throughout the UK and maybe as much at a County and more local level too - Scotland included historic counties are frequenly forgotten about these days and people in Scotland and Wales don't want to be dominated by the Scottish Lowlands or South Wales any more and indeed maybe less than they want to be dominated by a Westminster orientated set up - devolution as it has happened so far has paid little attention to Highland Scotland, the West of Scotland, the Islands and parts of Wales outside the South.

David Cameron had the following exchange with Andrew Marr on 25th June 2006 as repeatedly reported on my blog and backed up by the BBC Sunday AM transcript.

ANDREW MARR: Sure - another area of constitutional argument just at the moment is the whole business of the Scots and the English. Lots of people are saying now there should be English votes for English laws - Ken Clarke is clearly attracted by that - and there’s quite hubbub now saying that the Scots are getting too much public money, that the old Barnett formula, in fact Joel Barnett himself has said this, needs to be looked at again. Are the Scots getting too much public money at the moment, proportionately?

DAVID CAMERON: I don’t have any plans to change the arrangements. Obviously we’re in opposition, we have the opportunity to look at these things and we should do so. But I don’t have any plans to make changes. And we should look at funding on the basis of need. And I think that’s the right way, right way round. But I want, you know, I am a passionate Unionist, I think that Scotland brings a huge amount to the United Kingdom. The Scottish people bring a huge amount to the United Kingdom and I don’t want, and I’m a Cameron, there is quite a lot of Scottish blood flowing through these veins.
=======

How can the Conservative Party now campaign effectively on the West Lothian question unless they first do the sensible thing and rid themselves of Mr Cameron?

Are you saying that all those Unionists within the Conservative party like myself should be expelled Martin?

I do not think 'the English card' should be played as a way of putting David Cameron into Downing Street; but as the right thing to do in highlighting and addressing the unjust settlement forced on English people as a result of a completely unfair devolution process elsewhere in the union.

The argument that an English Parliament would require another layer of politicians is just another of Labour's red herrings as Mark Field ably demonstrates. There is an urgent need to resolve the imbalance devolution has brought about. This Labour government claims to be against two-tier systems in areas such as education and healthcare for example.

Yet it has constructed a two-tier system through devolution, with English students, teachers, patients and healthcare professionals all financially worse off than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK. Of even greater injustice is the fact the tax revenues of English people are being used to subsidise the more generous services in Scotland, Wales and NI that are denied to English people.

Why is MF going on about the A-list? That's sooooo yesterday darling.

I think this idea of a 'federal parliament' as outlined by Mark Field above sounds eminently practical. Whether it is actually different to other ideas that people have had for a federal parliament, ot it is just that Mr. Field has a more straightforward and concise way of stating his ideas, I don't know.

Of course it would necessitate quite an upheaval, but one thing has to be said, and that is that, this sort of idea could never be achieved under a labour government, as first and foremost in any politically minded labour thinker is ensuring that the proposed 'institution' or whatever will produce a majority of labour votes at all times! It has almost been achieved in the HoL's.

One UK/one parliament, with localism to counties etc as indicated above by Yet Another Anon, or else federalism/independence.

The Union has been abrogated by devolution, furthermore in a way that is grossly insulting to England - as with recent meeting between governments of UK and RoI plus Scotland, Wales & NI.

The party needs to construct an equitable policy to resolve matters. Populist remarks such as "..there is quite a lot of Scottish blood flowing through these veins." please no-one either side of the border. Lots of us have mixed UK blood, which makes the idea of dissolving the Union rather ridiculous in logical terms. However, the sentiments exist, so deal with them. Or of course just hold the lid on until the pot boils over uncontrollably!

"Playing the English Card?" What a condescending and derogatory term for those who want democracy and fair play for England.
None of you have a problem with playing the Scottish or Welsh Cards, do you?

Before the '97 election the Conservatives said that devolution would trash the Union. They were right. I'm a Unionist by inclination, but we have to face facts. The Union we loved has already been destroyed. The question is where do we go from here.

What kind of opposition party is afraid to oppose the deliberate oppression of the majority for fear of being branded one of them and then expect us to vote for them?
Sickening.

Felicity, Cameron's opinion poll lead is sooooooo yesterday darlin'!

A union of equals, sounds like a good idea to me.

Not a union of equals, mark. Field's proposed "cohesion fund" (just love that euphemism) would be a means for the English to continue subsidising the other nations.

Are you saying that all those Unionists within the Conservative party like myself should be expelled Martin?

Posted by: malcolm | August 07, 2007 at 12:09

If the cap fits then wear it and leave of your own accord. Very few us wanted to see the Union reduced to the lopsided Union that it now is with England being for all intents and purposes governed by Scottish socialists. If you want to see a Conservative Party (not that there is one) again governing England then you must realise that only English voters can or will fulfill that dream. Conservativism in Scotland is dead and will remain so for the forseeable future. The reality, like it or not, is recognised by Mark Field and it is the future. Failure to look after and publicise the interests of the English will lead to Brown again being in charge of what will feel like the Revenge for Culloden Party - Part 3, but as they say, many of my best friends are Scots, but I dislike their socialist politicians.

Hmmmm | August 07, 13:14
"cohesion fund" ..would be a means for the English to continue subsidising the other nations."

Not if allocated on more localised geographical basis according to need. I have no problem with, say, remote Sutherland getting proportionately more than Surrey. What I object to is allocation by nation, which could be construed as including a subsidy by the underprivileged of Tower Hamlets to the better-off of Morningside.

Well said Mark.

We urgently need to create a level playing field and the only way to do that is either a) reverse the devolution process to pre-1998 levels, or b) devolve power to the County Councils (or Regional Assemblies) or c) create a Parliament for England that matches the powers held by Hollyrood.

The first is untenable, the second is demonstrably unpopular (see North East referendum), so that leaves us with an English Parliament. No one could argue against the fairness of this proposal and it would be a vote winner.


'If the cap fits'....Thanks 'Dontmakelaugh'.You sound like a really nice guy with a really fine tuned political antennae.
I really don't see what's wrong with EVEL together with the abolition of the Barnett formula.That way the Union may be preserved and fainess is ensured both politically and economically for English voters.
Remember if the Union does break up you will have to say goodbye to a significant proportion of the British Army which will make the war in Iraq which you are so keen to fight impossible.

What an excellent suggestion as the largest percentage of the population, its about time someone spoke up for the English.It seems the Labour party dislike the English,as does the BBC,half the forms nowadays do not have English as a nationality and if you are white English you are excluded from applying for certain jobs, I feel like a stranger in my country of birth.

malcolm | August 07, 14:06
"Remember if the Union does break up you will have to say goodbye to a significant proportion of the British Army "

You presume that Scots would no longer wish/be able to serve with the South British armed forces. Citizens of West Indies, Fiji, Rep of Ireland, etc, do so. No reason to think that Scots would depart en masse in such an event.

Malcolm. I'll tell you what's wrong with EVoEL, it's for the same reason that a "Grand Committee of MPs" is wrong - It aint a Parliament, ergo the English are 2nd class citizens/subjects, which part don't you understand?

Ken Stevens. "localised geographical basis" Balkanisation, through regionalism, by another name. Come of it, the north east of England (only they had a vote) rejected that idea by 3 - 1.

The latest pinch of salt to the English wounds is the make up of the British-Irish Council.
The United (ha ha) Kingdom.
Ireland.
Wales.
Scotland.
Northern Ireland.
Guernsey.
Jersey.
Isle of Man.
No English representation yet England bore the brunt of the IRA bombing campaign.

All the Scots elected Ministers in the present government have signed up to the Scottish Claim of Rights wherein they swear to prioritise the needs of Scotland.

If the Tories (especially the English elected variety - hang on are there any other types) wish to regain power ever again they must make sure that they at least treat the English electorate equally.

Not to do so will see Tories in oppositin in perpetuity.

Patrick Harris | August 07, 14:33
"...'localised geographical basis' Balkanisation, through regionalism, by another name"

My comment was confined specifically to the cohesion fund, aka a post-Barnett Formula, based on localised need rather than nation.

I absolutely reject English regionalism as any sort of sop re WLQ. I also reject it as a possibility for any other purpose, so long as the concept is tainted with EU divide&conquer.

Democracy isn't working for England. The argument put forward for NOT allowing an English Parliament, ie "England is too big and would dominiate a UK Parliament," is the same argument which could have been used against a UK Parliament, which for 300 years.
The same argument cannot apply to both a UK Parliament AND an English Parliament.
That's just plain stupid.

In one way or other most people in all parts of Britain would vote to have some form of Union. If we were starting from first principles it is obvious that the nations in Britain (most of them on one island) would want and need to co-operate. So I am a "Unionist" but I am not opposed to reforming and adapting it and putting it to a referendum.
Secondly looking at where we are now, and thinking clearly, it is obvious that too much power is centralised and that for the most part many decisions would be better made closer to communities and wherever possible by families and individuals.
There have always been different tiers of Govt under both main parties and Govt already directs extra funds to some areas, whatever the part of the UK.
The issue is really that devolution has been botched. What needs to be done is that we should look objectively at what decisions are best made at what tier, with the strong likelihood being that more decisions should be made at county level.
Most of the public like to have a sensible degree of patriotism but are not Nationalists and we should be suspicious of those that try to define themselves in terms of what others are not. Its good to be patriotic about where you live but not healthy if that means your area is good because somehow someones elses area is not. For that reason and others are dislike the whole feeling behind the attacks on MPs because they are from a particular area of Britain.

Matt

Well said Mark. It's time for the English to wake up and realise just how they're being robbed and exploited by the current McGovernment.
I hope the Conservatives though, under Cameron, aren't planning going down the same route. It seems Cameron is VERY anti English in his attitude and does a great disservice to his backbenchers and other true conservatives who joined the party to be blue, not shades of lilac, pink or Almost Red.

The people of England require our own Parliament to balance the parliaments now accorded to the three other parts of the "United Kingdom".The discrepancies in benefits between the various parts are such that the whole idea of a "national"policy is ludicrous,especially when one nation is subsidising the others! Let us have the existing Westminster as a Federal Parliament and a separate chamber for an English Government.

Well said Mark Field. It's about time more English MPs were speaking out for the interests of the English people by supporting the creation of an English Parliament.

At Long Long Last. a Conservative who has seen the light, well done Mark Field, now all you have to do is to get the hierachy to listen to you,I left the tory party and joined the English Democrats as they were the only ones who have seen what the bLiar/Brown division of the of the union has done.

All the English have ever wanted was parity and not to feel they were just the money cow for enactment of the debacle called devolution, I predict that unless the English are treated fairly that the break-up of the union is inevitable, and we will ALL become nothing more than regionalised areas of the undemocratic newly consitusionalised Europe.. so Shout it loud Mark and SHOUT it often, you really are in touch....

Mark Field makes some good points. It is a pity that most members of his party still do not believe in justice and democracy for the English. If the Conservatives were to champion an English Parliament and a fair settlement for England, ie abolition of the detested Barnett Formula, they would undoubtedly win the next election. It is better for them to accept that they are essentially an English party and that there is no point in looking back to the pre-asymetrical devolution era. They should challenge Brown and Scottish Labour head on.

However, in order to do this, I think they need to ditch Cameron (half-Scottish) and replace him with David Davis. I am not particularly interested in party leaders, but in a party as a whole, but in this instance I do not believe that Cameron is the right man to effect this change.

If the Conservatives continue as they are, and fail to make the case for an end to asynetrical devolution by granting democracy and fairness to England, then they and the union are finished.
The only way of preserving the union is to create an English Parliament (which will replace the House of Commons) and a UK Parliament (to replace the House of Lords).

If you believe in democracy and justice for England, then join the English Democrats Party now. The only party that is campaigning for this. I would urge Mark Field to join us.

As a former long standing Tory voter its gratifying to finally see that some Tory MP's are aware of the need for a parliament for England.

I,as I am sure many others will be,are pro a United Kingdom with four parliaments representing the member countries of England,Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland.

Holding a UK Parliament in the old House
of Lords is not realy as bold and as
radical as Mark Field suggests and is a common topic of conversation amongst those pro an English Parliament.

What is a good idea is Mark's suggestion of
it being funded by a per GDP levy on the national parliaments. Thus leading to the none too soon scrapping of the Barnett formula making the redistribution of the nations wealth more fair and also taking in to account those parts of the country where all our people get a better share of whats available especially in more deprived areas.

For once an MP who speaks for England. At last, we seem to have a friend at Westminster. My faith in politicians has been very slightly restored. One day we will have our own parliament - i just hope its during my lifetime.

"but there are a number of CCHQ tacticians - and key figures at The Daily Telegraph"

These being the key tacticians who masterminded the Ealing by-election and the Brown transition strategies? My confidence is now as high as an Old Etonian on charlie.

I'm just waiting for the usual cry from the committed unionists among you.
"here come the Nasty, Sour, Uneducated, Little Englanders".
Well it looks to me as if you have some in your own Party. We will not go away, neither, with your present policies, will we vote for you.

How can we get equality for England (ie and English Parliament)into the Conservative manifesto?

ENGLAND MP SUPPORTS ENGLAND - SHOCK

I did wonder when our English MPs were actually going to realise that if they didn't start to listen to their constituants it would all start to fall down around their ears. Maybe some of you are starting to see the light.
As the English are getting more and more fed up with the present situation, they are going to look elswhere for the solution - and that may not include being in the Union!

Mark - it's a bit long coming, but we thank you all the same for making the point...... Afterall, it's only 9 years too late! Honestly, I have real difficulty in wondering how any self proclaimed democrat could have supported the camel of a solution on devolution in the first place. And also am incredulous that the Tories, in their role as Her Majesty's Opposition would be so uber meek in their opposition to it down the years.

Meanwhile, English cancer patients have been left to die for the want of cancer drugs freely available to all in Scotland. Meanwhile, English students are having to divvy up top ups - and then a top up on the top ups - while everyone else goes to Uni' Scot free. Meanwhile old people in England are means tested for services freely available to their contemporaries in Scotland. Meanwhile English OAPs are forced into flogging off their homes to finance their residential dotage - state sponsored obviously in Scotland. Meanwhile English kids get a turkey-twizzling 45p spent on their school meals - but in Scotland they have almost £1 per head spent on them. Meanwhile, the British lessons continue apace in English schools - but obviously not in Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish schools - they'll be too busy learning about their own national identities....

Meanwhile, the cash cow that is England is fleeced, porked and goosed out of the train load of cash to provide the spending largesse in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland - and all the great and the good of the Westminster gravy boat think nothing of it.

The bum scratching and the blue sky ruminating on the English problem is finished, over for ever. The great devolution experiment, the gammy leg of Tony Blair's legend-in-his-own-mind legacy is tottering in terminal decline and good riddance to bad rubbish. Without the biggest partner it was never going to work. We should have been the corner stone of it right from the off.... but we weren't - and now the resentment has built, the frustrations have grown and who knows where it will all end?

We too should have had our own Executive, to have our own First Minister, to act in our own interests - and be directly answerable to us - and if we do not like him we kick him out at the ballot box....

It's called democracy - and how ironic that this country of England, the founder and originator of the modern democratic model - much admired and copied throughout the world - and the producer of the world's first document setting out the rights of the individual (Magna Carta) is now wallowing in a sea of injustice and non representation that would put a banana republic to shame. How ironic it is that England is now less democratic that it was 1,200 years ago....

Nearly ten years of mendacity by a flawed English hating executive, nearly ten years of a no show Tory Opposition that has let them get away with it. Nearly ten years of English lives being sacrificed on an altar of political expediency while 'Call Me Dave' courts a non existent Scottish vote by slagging off 50 million people with his 'sour little Englanders' speech. Nearly ten years of being ignored by every single English MP (apart from a couple of noble exceptions)....

But what you have ask yourself Mark is - if the Yorkshire floods had happened with an English First Minister in power would it have taken him 10 days to visit and to pledge money to the disaster fund - and would it have been more than the 14 million that Gordon Brown offered?

Mark, do you feel the frusrations? Well, do you?

Matt Wright | August 07, 2007 at 15:12
"..Most of the public like to have a sensible degree of patriotism but are not Nationalists ... dislike the whole feeling behind the attacks on MPs because they are from a particular area of Britain."

It was dismantling of the Union by devolution that created my Englandism, i.e. it was a result of the nationalism of others.

I do not "attack" MPs because they are from another area of Britain; ain't nowt wrong with a Scot being an MP of an English constituency. I do however regard it as constitutionally invalid that an MP of a Scottish constituency may get involved in matters affecting only England, whether just by parliamentary vote or, worse, by holding ministerial office.

The fact that a Prime Minister supposedly of the whole UK has signed the “Scottish Claim of Right” should be an aggravating factor, I suppose. On the other hand it was only a politician's pledge and we know how conscientiously those are observed ;-)

Even on purely pragmatic, tactical grounds it is an error for D.C. to wield his Scottishness. Scotland is lefter of centre than England, so Unionists there will mostly vote Lab or LibDem and Nationalists for SNP etc(- there are some Unionists who vote SNP, but for increased devolution rather than for independence). There no electorally significant tranches of Tory votes to be gained in Scotland but, by offering nothing more than the halfhearted sop of EVEM, there are certainly votes to be lost in England.

Scotland is proudly asserting its nationhood. England should stand equally proud.

Didn't we get the most votes in England at the last election?

At last we have a sensible and credible view on this devolution mess.Mark field is to be congratulated on advocating a just and fair solution to the "English Question".Let us now hope that he will be able to bring other Conservative politicians around to his way of thinking.

Well said Alfred the OK. Let us hope that Mark's idea of four, full, national parliaments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with most of the existing powers of the House of Commons and over them a federal United Kingdom parliament will get taken up by the Conservative Party.

Well said Ken and Alfred the OK. It is absolutely amazing that this issue has taken so long to draw traction and. One can only wonder why and what this tells us.

When Northern Ireland suffered localised flooding this year, it took Gordon Brown just 3 days to give them £5m. Each household got an immediate payout of £1,000 and councils were given the go-ahead to provide de-humidifiers to dry out homes, begin clearance of streets and other public areas and assist private householder to clear up their homes and gardens. All this is paid for from English taxes.
In Scotland, in 2002, Moray council spent £1.2m buying 48 houses in Forres from the Ministry of Defence to house families evacuated from their flood damaged homes. They also leased 24 flats in Elgin and re-opened a former nursing home there to provide further accommodation.
Just 300 people were evactuated from their homes, compared to the tens of thousands in Yorkshire,(not to mention the thousands in the Eastern areas) yet the Scottish Executive, (thanks to the English taxpayer) was able to provide funding of nearly £1.5m to help Moray Council cover the costs of dealing with the flood damage.
In England, with more than 30,000 home owners affected in much of Yorkshire, our unwanted and unelectedtScottish Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, took more than two weeks to even acknowledge us.
Once again, we in England are being deliberately discriminated against. We are nothing more than a Celtic piggy bank to this government. Why aren't our own politicians rising up and demanding fair treatment and an English Parliament for their English constituents? We must all write and demand that they do. We've been patient for long enough. Enough is enough!
The English Democrats Party was formed with the intention of protecting English interests within England and the need for such a Party has never been clearer. I would urge all who feel as I do about the constant plundering of English assets for the benefit of non-English Governments/Assemblies to join us at www.englishdemocrats.org.uk

Hello, Conservatives at home.

I am pleased to see that the waking up and smelling the coffee thing is kicking in, finally.

Super heavyweight intellectual and strategic thinker, Gordon Brown, is planning to win power sometime soon rather than just being given it for his birthday. He has every option covered apart from the blatantly obvious and greatest threat to his stratagem: England.

Gordy may like to pretend that England is a sideshow but this is what Dr Ian Davis of the British American Security Information thinks:

'The next UK general election must be held on or before 3 June 2010. It is possible that it may be held in June 2009 to coincide with elections to the European Parliament or even as early as Spring 2008, if a confident Gordon Brown were to take a sustained lead in the opinion polls. There are four key areas in which the UK election battleground will be fought:
1.
The Economy.
2.
Health
3.
The English/Scottish divide (The ‘West Lothian Question’):
4.
Foreign Policy'

England is one of the key four battle areas? Gordon is drafting a battle plan that completely ignores a critical threat which is a wee bit like a general ignoring the enemy armoured divisions because he doesn't like them.

Source: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4412

When will Cameron use the armour?

Irrespective of an MP's party allegiances, his or her first priority should be consideration for the welfare and requirements of his constituents, who elected him. Quite clearly the MP's representing English constituents are being negligent; irrespective of their party colours.
It should be demanded by all MP's, that English voters are given the same opportunity that has been given to all other voters in Britain, and that means a referendum on how the English are to be governed.
I'm sure the EDP could help with orchestrating such a referendum.

Mark I certainly welcome your comments regarding the current inequalities of government and the lobsided devolution that seeks to undermine the English in their own country. Why aren't all the other English MP's up in arms? The Conservative party needs to take a long hard look at their position....your majority of support is in England, and yet your party continues to ignore the growing concerns of its potential voters...why? Statements from Mr Cameron like 'their is a lot of Scottish Blood running through these veins'give us an indication to where his true loyalties are grounded? Perhaps he should jump into bed with Gordon Brown and Menzies Cambell, Alistair Darling and Charles Kennedy who have all signed a Scottish Claim to Right whichI find totally un-acceptable!

Mark's idea is brilliant. Is there any hope of it becoming party policy?

I see Patrick Harris has been urging people to 'get onto this blog and tell them some home truths'on the English Democrat Party website. I was wondering why so many people who do not usually come onto this have taken over this thread.

I used to be a Tory voter but that went out with Margaret Thatcher. For the first time in years I am at a loss as to who to vote for. David Cameron is not at all popular or so it seems and I trust Gordon Brown not a jot. This mistrust of Brown is mainly because of the fact that he appears to be extremely two-faced, wearing one for his Scottish Constituants and one for us English. The only way that any party will be guaranteed to get my vote is by making it completely and sincerely clear that they will follow the lead of Mark Field and advocate an English Parliament. England, who houses the Mother of Parliaments has no democratic rights any longer since the devolution of the rest of the UK. Fair enough - we can go it alone, but it is wrong that we should subsidise (let alone pay for) the Scottish Parliament, only to find that the Scots are privy to advantages we lack such as Cancer Drugs etc. Get the Tory party to include this in its Manifesto and I can assure you that you will get my vote and many more besides. We need a Party we can trust regardless of their traditional roots!

Oh how I yearn for an English Parliament to redress the vicious anti English stance of this Scottish dominated Labour government. If Cameron wants to get into No 10 he needs to realise that his pro Union posturing does him and his party no favours in England. He cannot take English votes for granted unless he takes action to sort out the democratic deficit and immigration and crime.

At last an Englishman in the Conservative Party willing to speak out!
The people who say they are Unionists are quite willing to see England broke up via the Regions ,or whatever the Labour Party think up next.
Sacrifice England to save the Union;"a small price to pay"as Mr. Blair once stated

malcolm | August 07, 17:16
"..I was wondering why so many people who do not usually come onto this have taken over this thread.."

-- Or you could put a positive slant on it and take it as an indication that, if the Conservatives seized upon the topic (as with EU Referendum), then votes could be garnered from those who would otherwise vote English Democrat, on the basis that they are people who want to see the outcome achieved on behalf of our nation rather than for narrow party political gain. Electorally better for ED to keep the subject as a unique jewel in their manifesto than let another party purloin it, maybe?

If you feel that this thread has been rather onesided, where are the legions of grassroot Tories arguing here with emotion & logic for continued Union? Matt Wright does so honourably, whilst acknowledging the need for reform of arrangements; Simon Newman, like me, is emotionally a Unionist but acknowledges that things have gone too far. You? - a couple of peripheral points and a couple of snipes.

Those ED interlopers are praising the ideas of a Tory MP, They are an opportunity, not a threat!

I am a strong supporter of English devolution and the concept of an English Parliament. I also believe in the Union and am a strong supporter of localism. However, I am not sure that what Mark Fields is proposing meets these all these criteria. An understanding of what he means by federal would be helpful.

The more I think about it, it seems to me that what he is a suggesting is a hybrid which in effect rolls back devolution to a position much closer to that before 1998.

Unfortunately, that seems a bit like trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. I cannot see parties such as the SNP signing up to it and therefore I feel it puts the Union at greater risk.

Furthermore, it provides no additional safeguards against Parliament ratifying constitutional treaties such as the one currently on the table without the electorate having the chance to express it wishes. The constitution belongs to the people not parliament.

Also, Mark Fields proposal implies the scrapping of the House Of Lords and with it the checks and balances that it provides over the House Of Commons. In his proposal there seems to be no 2nd Chambers at all. How will the checks and balances be undertaken in future?

This country's unwritten constitution has been wrecked once by Labour. Once it has been corrected with a suitable written constitution no political party should ever be allowed the power to wreck it again without the electorates' say so.

Furthermore, the actions of politicians are often seen to be self-serving and not in the interests of the people. To help restore Parliaments reputation an independent politically neutral body is needed to monitor parliament and ensure that a high level of propriety is maintained.

Anyway here's a few alternate considerations/ideas that I would be more in favour of.

1) Any change should include an objective to provide relatively equal levels of electoral representation at national level (national assemblies and UK parliament) for the public across the four home nations. Currently there is a significant imbalance that penalises voters located in England (Scotland has 3, Wales 4, and Northern Ireland, 7 times the representation).

2) National Assemblies with independent accountabilities (e.g. Education, Health etc) that the UK government cannot overrule (more confederalist than federalist). I don't see the Union surviving otherwise (as Scotland has these powers already).

3) The UK Government to be responsible for policy with global/international dimensions to them (immigration, foreign trade,national security etc.) and overall economic management.

4) Separate ballots for National Assemblies and the UK Government

5) A return of trust in politics by removing constitutional powers from the direct control of Parliament and then handing the guardianship of the constitution over to an independent (partially?) democratically elected body (with little/no direct political affiliations) reporting to the monarch/ head of state (perhaps a restructured House Of Lords?). They could also take over monitoring of the probity of parliament and the executive as well as monitoring organisations such as the electoral commission and the BBC ensuring that political interference in these organisations is minimised.

6) Ensure that our Constitutional Democratic Monarchy remains in tact, the monarch remains neutral, and their role as head of state is enhanced (by becoming the guardian of the constitution).

7) Parliament to propose and implement constitutional change but not approve it. Approval would be by majority vote in national referendums on all constitutional changes on a periodic basis (when other elections are being held - one or twice every five years?).

8) Greater clarity in responsibilities and accountabilities of Parliamentarians. Clear roles and responsibilities for the executive and MP's (as part of the written constitution) by which the voters can assess their performance.

In addition as the population has grown in this country over the last 20 years there has been a decline in UK level of electoral representation generally. Surely there is a need to ensure that the level of national representation needs to remain proportionate to the size of the electorate? I think Mark Field's assertion that there will be no additional cost is optimistic.

I also think that Mark Fields is missing a trick by proposing to locate the English Parliament in the House of Lords (although in his model it is essential). If the English Parliament was located lets say somewhere like Nottingham it would help alleviate certain regional issues in England by:

1) Taking some of the pressure of the overcrowded South East.
2) Encouraging economic growth in the Midlands and the North.
3) Diluting the London focus on everything thus potentially assisting in the breakdown of the North/ South divide.

PS Before I am labelled an English Democrat I am not I am a Conservative.

Malcolm, after reading the article I knew they would be here by lunchtime and any attempt at a real debate would be pointless.

The 'English Question' now needs addressing, but NOT, I suggest, with an English Parliament - we have far too many overpaid politicians already.

No, there is a very simple device we could adopt tomorrow, namely for only MPs representing English constituenceis to debate and vote on English-only business - say once a week or fortnight.

Tne Barnett formula must also be re-assessed.

Also, why is it that when I cross from England into Wales, every A road or B road informs me that I'm entering Wales, but on the way back, there are virtually none saying 'Welcome to England'?

ANSWER: Because there is no institution working exclusively for England.

Malcolm. And boy are you being told a few home truths, Please feel free to correct any of my posts. The "home" bit was supposed to be a bit of a pun.

Scotty | August 07, 17:49
"..any attempt at a real debate would be pointless."

It's only one-sided because of a dearth of counter-argument. Many valid points have been made above. Perhaps you would care to offer a detailed rebuttal of some of the main ones?

Tony Bennett:

The problem with what you suggest is that it causes difficulties in who can be the Minister for certain departments can be.

Are we saying that a Scottish based Education Minister can champion Education policy but then cannot vote on it or are we saying that a Scottish based MP cannot be minister of education?

What happens then if a Scottish based Chancellor refuses to fund that education policy?

It may act as a stop gap but I suggest the opportunities to discredit it are as numerous as those for the current devolution policy.

What is the problem in having an English Parliament, if it's a good idea for, Wales, Scotland and NI then it's a good idea. We are told it will break up the UK if England has it's own parliament, why and how? The more likely reason is that this governments wants to create Euro Regions regardless of the wishes of the people.

Considering it, I think Mark Field's plan is a very good one. Westminster was the English Parliament long before it was the Union Parliament, and I doubt there's any widespread desire in England to see an expensive new English Parliament in Birmingham or Nottingham. The EU wants to destroy England through regionalisation, but the English want that even less. The current HoL was gutted by this government and no longer performs much of meaningful function - in fact thanks to the Human Rights Act the judges have more of an oversight role, not something I like.

Simon Newman:

Are you then proposing we should break up the Union then?

Malcolm and Scotty, your posts are sarcastic negativity in comparison to those advocating an English Parliament. this is usually a sign of having no counter argument.

I made no bones about switching from Tories to ED this was born out of sheer frustration at the invidious differentials due to devolution, like having a neighbour told move to Scotland to obtain a drug as he had cancer [he didnt move and has since died], knowing another family whose mother had to sell her home to pay for care, you say there is no debate, well then give us something to debate, we are expressing our views and support, why don't you give a counter argument as opposed to sarcasm directed at those in support of ENGLAND. as an aside I have not been herded by whoever from the ED site, I just feel strongly for my country,and I refuse to be silent with the charge of being a little Englander,I am a proud English woman and I believe in the union indeed I believe the only hope for the union is a federal style of governence the choice being that, or the disecting of the UK on the European alter.

Well said Mark, have you run your ideas past Ken, Mr EU, Clarke yet? When you have, please, please post them here his response would be enlightening to say the least, and I am desperate for a good laugh.
You are obviously tuning in to what the majority of English people want, it's a pity call me Dave, and most of the other MP's sitting in English constituencies, are actually serving their EU masters and not the people who pay their wages.
An English parliament does not fit in with the EU's regionalisation agenda which, if aloud to continue, would balkanise our country and make us subjects of the new EU superstate. Our Scottish PM, with the blessing of the Scottish Phib Dims, is pressing ahead with this plan as fast as he can, and as Peter Mendelson said recently, and his words are proved by the back door entry of the EU constitution,
"the democratic experiment in Europe has failed, we are now in the post democratic era"
MP's like yourself, Mark, need to shout your message from on high, make a huge fuss and stand up for the people, because this pretend democracy we have now, and the one the EU are planning for us, will leave us with only one alternative if we wish to change our government, speak up for us before it's to late.

Well said Mark.An English parliament is now absolutely essential,as if the Barnett formula wasnt bad enough for the English,we now have the unwanted honour of being the only country in the so called "union"required to fly the union flag,and our Scottish PM has the cheek to talk up Britishness in England whilst his own countrymen admit Britishness is dead north of the border whilst the Scotland only benefits continue.The English receive nothing from this discriminatory anti- English government.

John Leonard:
"Simon Newman:

Are you then proposing we should break up the Union then?"

No - either

1. We abolish the devolved Parliaments of Scotland and Wales if referenda in Scotland and Wales support it, which is unlikely in Scotland's case, or

2. We go to a looser federal structure with 4 national Parliaments running national affairs and a federal government dealing with UK issues including defense and foreign policy.

Only if neither of those were possible would breaking the Union be a last resort.

I do think that it's important to prevent the destruction of England - not just for the benefit of the English (I'm an Ulsterman by upbringing) but because England is one of the most important nations for the survival of western civilisation, second only to the USA.

The Conservatives ARE Englands national party by default! They just haven't all realised it yet. Well said Mark

The West Lothian(English) question is such an afront to fairness that Brown ignores the self evident and from his point of view inconvenient truth at his peril. He can bleat on for as long as he likes about two classes of MP but it is so obvious to a majority of English and indeed most other British people that all the English are asking for is parity that his motives just look exactly what they are, i.e he is biased because of self interest. I think all it would take is a poster saying something like "Gordon doesn't think the English should Govern themselves. That's ok let's make sure Gordon doesn't get to govern anymore."

Simon Newman | August 07, 19:39

I fully agree with the either/or option.
Assymetric devolution constituted a unilateral variation of the Treaty of Union, with regard to which the English partner did not get a referendum.

Simon Newman:

I wasn't sure of your intent from your first post. My preference would be option 2 partially because of the same reasons as you suggest and partly because of my general support for localism.

Our sentiments on this are indeed quite similar.

I don't think the abolition of the Barnett formula, English votes for English laws or the future of the British Army in the event of the breakup of the Union are in any way peripheral Ken Stevens.
The English Democrats an oppurtunity not a threat? I hope you are joking? Robin Tilbrook and his merry band are not going to win a seat anywhere in England. Their only role is a single issue pressure group.Wake up! Only two people will have the chance to be PM after the next General election,one of the architects of this sorry mess or the leader of the Conservative party. A vote for one of these very minor parties like the EDP is a completely wasted vote.

Malcolm,

Do you therefore agree that a vote for the Tories in the Euro elections is also a wasted vote as they will be members of the MER which only has countries with a combined GDP of less than 10% of even the useless UKIP's equivalent group?

How are the Tories going to have any influence when their group is so tiny?

I guess that means you will be voting UKIP in the Euro elections if you only vote for parties that can make a difference in parliament seeing as their IndDem group is many times larger than the Tory one?

Eh?

The Tories have pledged to leave the EPP and join the MER which has just two other (tiny) member countries!

It will be powerless. It will be an impotent voice on the fringes.

So how could anyone who wants to see powers brought back from the EU waste their vote by voting Tory in the Euros?

Well done this is a step in the right direction and an English Parliament is a must, England deserves and demands fair and equal treatment in the United Kingdom.

I'll be delighted when the Conservative party leave the EPP, I wish it had already happened.
I was not aware that any group on within the European parliament was anything but an 'impotent voice on the fringes' as the UKIP MEPs have found out too.
Love to stay and chat Nussie, but I've got a tennis match now.

The only way for the Conservative Party to beat Brown at a General Election is to ditch closet Scot Cameron who clings to a discredited Union as those before clung to Empire and become a party for the English and establish an English parliament. Perhaps a backbone is forming in the previous spineless English MPs.

As I've mentioned a number of times on this blog before, I am opposed to (a) the destruction of the England/Wales bond of these past seven hundred years; and (slightly less important, but still very important) (b) the destruction of the unions with Scotland and Ulster. I consider Mark Field's proposal the formal destruction of the union between England and Wales, and hence am opposed to it.

I don't disagree at all that the creation of the Scottish and Welsh local governmental assemblies has created dangerous centrefugal forces within the Union - the most significant of these being the promotion of a notion of Englishness.

Now, I think, it is time for the Conservative Party to choose. Is it to be an English Nationalist Party, somewhat akin to the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, making proposals for autonomy for England and promoting the destruction of the Union? Or is it to be a Unionist party, in which case we will have to oppose things that might tend to encourage a sense of nation within England? I don't believe there is any sustainable middle way. My preference is for the latter. I don't favour English nationalism. I am British. I do not recognise an English identity. I recognise that, constitutionally speaking, one might have been born under the England-and-Wales crown within the Union. I recognise being from Yorkshire, or the Black Country, or Wales, or Cornwall, or any number of regional identities within England-and-Wales. I do not recognise Englishness as a legitimate Conservative concept. I consider a threat, not an ally.

It seems to me that the Unionist solution to the tension created by the Scottish and Welsh local government assemblies is quite straightforward, and would be considered obvious if we were not befuddled by a dalliance with English nationalism and by bizarre Europhobic conspiracy theories. The Unionist solution is for us to have a more-or-less common form of local government throughout the Union. Since, as a matter of practical politics, we will not (at least for many years) be able to abolish the Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly, we must, instead, favour having similar assemblies everywhere. This is not the break-up of the UK into regions - for these regional assemblies are nothing more than local government assemblies. We do not consider the UK broken up by the presence of regional development agencies that already operate throughout England; neither do we consider England broken up into county "mini-countries". Regional assemblies everywhere through England-and-Wales would be just a form of local government. If we did that, we would neutralise the ridiculous discusssions of the "Government of Wales" or the "Prime Minister of Wales".

Regional assemblies throughout England-and-Wales - the Unionist solution - or we can choose to be an English Nationalist Party and break up the Union. It's getting time to choose, ladies and gentlemen.

At last a clear exposition of a workable solution to the devolution of the other parts of the United Kingdom.The only problem is that it's too late.Our Scottish Prime Minister is determined to sign us irrevocably into the EU Constitution and Brussels will never allow an English Parliament(end of regions).Gordon Brown dare not allow a referendum.Scotland-with the Labour party having to support the SNP-would vote(narrowly?) YES.England led by the Conservatives would vote overwhemingly NO(see NE Region result).This would blow Gordon Brown out of the water,he's clever,he knows it.Without a mass campaign which DC has no stomach for.England is doomed.

This - the plight of the low paid worker - is the real scandal that Conservatives should be campaigning on - the Thatcher govt was not good on this

No, I bet those poor people who were empowered to buy their own council homes are cursing Maggie for the 10's if not 100's of thousands of pounds of profit their purchase made!

Andrew Lilico:

I read your articles with great interest and am much in agreement with many comments.

However, on the Union and the Constitution I am not.

If you are right and there is no centre ground (which I would prefer) and it is either Great Britain or England, then I am English and it is ENGLAND every time for me.

Forgive me for asking an awkward question, but isn't it going to be out of the hands of any parliament elected by our electorate, within the foreseeable future, to determine Foreign policy and many more aspects of governance, that we have come to regard as sacrosanct. Are not these items along with countless others going to pass into the hands of unelected EUROPEAN's, from each and every corner of that embryonic empire? I understand that the conservative opposition is whimpering on about the iniquities of this newly proposed treaty, but the leadership is displaying not one iota of opposition that is meaningful, and seemingly will simply accept any ruling by Brown should he go ahead with its acceptance without calling an referendum??????????

John Leonard@20:53

Thankyou for your kind remarks. Let us be clear: English nationalism is an entirely plausible way for us to go. The English Tory Nationalist reflects an important strain of opinion - much more coherent than many positions offered. But I think we should not kid ourselves about what that means. It means the end of the union of England and Wales that has persisted since 1270 for most of the country, and since Tudor times for the rest, a union so profound that when the Welsh office was formed, a special effort had to be gone to to work out where the border was, because no-body knew any more; a union so complete that the considerable majority of those living in Wales have numerous recent English-born ancestors; a union so confident that we call the heir to the throne of England the "Prince of Wales". Is that what you want? When you go to Snowdon or Llangollen for your walks, or the Millenium stadium for your cup finals, or Ceredigion for the 2010 Eisteddfod, will you be wanting to go to another country, a place you happen to be able to visit, for now, because the visa restrictions permit it? Perhaps you never go to Wales, so it wouldn't make a difference to you. It would make a difference to me.

It means the end of the Union with Scotland. Adam Smith and David Hume and James Boswell and James Watt would not be your history any longer. They would be the history of a neighbour, perhaps friendly, perhaps not. You would not be able to think with pride of the exploits of the Black Watch. When England gets knocked out of the World Cup, would you cheer the plucky Scots the way you do now? If so, why? They would be precious little to do with you - no more your kin than the Australians or Canadians; perhaps a people that you shared something with once, but no longer. Now just another friendly European neighbour - a bit like Belgium, but with fewer mussels.

Is that what you want? Is it really? We can go there, if you like. If the Conservative Party decides to be an English Nationalist party then that's it - kaput. End of the Union. It could survive the Lib Dems being nationalist. Labour being nationalist is inconceivable, but if they were it would render them irrelevant anyway. No. It's us. We're what is crucial. If we want the end of the Union, then it will end.

So, what's it to be, ladies and Gentlemen?

lucysharp said "I see Patrick Harris has been urging people to 'get onto this blog and tell them some home truths'on the English Democrat Party website. I was wondering why so many people who do not usually come onto this have taken over this thread."

Well I am a member of the Conservative Party, have voted Conservative all my life and have not been within 50 yards of the English Democrat website

... but I agree 100% with the concept of equality for those of us living in England, ie an English Parliament. What is wrong with that?

Andrew Lilico | August 07, 20:36

At last, a reasoned argument on this thread in favour of Union!
Not that I agree with it of course.

If, as you prefer, The Conservative & Unionist party, opposes "..things that might tend to encourage a sense of nation within England..", I reckon the Tories might as well pack up & go home and let Lord Ashcroft save wasting any more money on you.

"..we will not (at least for many years) be able to abolish the Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly.."
I wonder what is it that makes you feel that abolition would become possible at some time in the future if it is not a viable option in the short term. Will the Scottish and Welsh nationalists somehow be consumed with regret at their folly and repent their waywardness?

You refer to "..befuddled by a dalliance with English nationalism ..". As per John Leonard, I agree with much in your various writings but on this topic, I believe you are emotionally befuddled by an idyllic childhood in a garden backing on to the Welsh border(if I have recalled a past remark by you correctly). No-one is suggesting closing borders or otherwise inhibiting free interchange of UK residents.

As to the throwaway line re bizarre Europhobic thingies, I can only presume that you are a Tory patrician's secret lovechild and fiercely imbued with his Europhilia.

You have not produced a logical counterblast to an English Parliament, beyond the strong implication that we should patronise the natives on the Celtic fringes by humouring their little games but remaining aloof from stooping to their level, as one would expect of their imperial masters. No; I respect their aspirations and if its good enough for them, it's more than good enough for me.


malcolm | August 07, 20:07
I'm not suggesting that ED, UKIP, BNP, etc will win seats from the Tories; but their presence could be more than enough to deny a majority in various constituencies.

British Army: responded to that @14.22;
EVEL: John Leonard @ 18:11 puts it better than I could;
Barnett Formula: Whilst the underlying concept rankles, it is possible that the net benefit of abolishing it might be more apparent than real. Scotland has quite a lot of remote and/or underprivileged areas, so it is not beyond the bounds of belief that it would warrant a similar proportionate spend under a "cohesion fund" - or at least not so radically different as to warrant all the fuss. It's just presentationally awful!

Andrew Lilico | August 07, 21:38 (which came in while I was composing my rant @21.51.)

"..Wales..a place you happen to be able to visit, for now, because the visa restrictions permit it?"
Ah, like the visa restrictions to another former member of the Union, the Republic of Ireland, a land so divorced from us that one just never sees an Irishman on the telly, as head of British Airways, in the house next door, or whatever; a land that so cruelly severed our relationship with such historic figures as Yeats or GBS. ;-)

Andrew Lilico "Now, I think, it is time for the Conservative Party to choose. Is it to be an English Nationalist Party, somewhat akin to the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, making proposals for autonomy for England and promoting the destruction of the Union? Or is it to be a Unionist party, in which case we will have to oppose things that might tend to encourage a sense of nation within England? I don't believe there is any sustainable middle way."

Why do you believe there is no sustainable middle way? What is the problem with a federal solution? Personally I want parity with the other peoples of Britain, I am a localist so actually I would prefer a borough or county level devolution, but not regional (I feel no attachment to my region, but I do with my county).

Andrew Lillico:
"So, what's it to be, ladies and Gentlemen?"

Forced to choose between your two options,

1. The destruction of England into Euro-regions and denial of any English identity (your preferred option) and

2. an independent England

I strongly support the latter. Indeed your arguments make English nationalism sound like the only sane option, Andrew.

I totally agree with what this fellow is saying, in plain simple fairness and to level the playing field so no one in the UK is treat better or worse than the other an English parliment needs to be created, i find the whole Scots can be Scots, Welsh can be Welsh but English have to be British totally rascist, are the English not allowed to exist like the other nations of the UK do?

Ken@21:51

Entertaining and vigorous as ever. It's nice to debate with you. One thing I had to respond to:

>I can only presume that you are a Tory patrician's secret lovechild and fiercely imbued with his Europhilia.<

Actually, my father was associated with New Zealand's Green Party, and was a close friend of Roger Douglas (indeed, I believe I lived in his house for a while as a toddler) - later Finance Minister of New Zealand's Labour Party.

I think that if you check my extensive back-catalogue of publications for Bill Cash's European Foundation, going back into the 1990s, you will conclude that my Eurosceptic credentials are pretty secure. (Though, like Bill Cash, I have never been a get-outer...)

I have to laugh at those who think Wales and Scotland are doing better on Englands money eg re the NHS. Most of the people who say this clearly don't know how bad services can be, especially in Wales. A bit of balance is needed in this debate. Also many people in Wales and Scotland think devolution has been badly managed and structured and I strongly suspect that they would support the Union if there was a referendum but just want more say for their communities. As regards the EU, I dislike it but don't confuse the EUs plot for regionalisation with our will (should we choose not the EU) to look at how we might want to structure the UK. There have always been tiers of Govt in the UK and there has always been flux in there boundaries. Perhaps counties are the closest rational level we can point to over history? I would be interested in what our historians think but my recollection is more of sub-regional/county factions in Britain offering to lend support to various Kings at various times if it suited them.

Matt

I am coming rather late to this thread .

Mark Field is entirely correct . England needs her own national parliament . Just like Scotland's. This is easily compatible with a federal British setup . The present warped Blairite constitutional mess is simply unsustainable and any Conservative politician of any perception at all should be able to appreciate that .

Great Britain ..that is the name of the state commenced in 1/5/1707 .. not the geographical area of Britain

( it is typical of the thick and ignorant Blair that he tried to rename the UK -out of sheer ignorance , I think he actually did not know that Article 1 of the Act of Union says :
"That the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the first day of May, which shall be in the year one thousand seven hundred and seven, and forever after, be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain")

- has ALWAYS been an agglomeration of separate nations . Scotland in 1707 openly wanted a federal Union with England and that is pretty well what they now have . They are pretty happy with the concept of a fedral UK and put to a referendum in Scotland I bet they will vote for it .

The traditionally constitutionally retarded English are not totally retarded and are catching on in a big way. Once they have felt around the idea of an English pariament within a federal British union they will vote for it by a large majority , given the chance .

One point : Mark Field says the UK federal pariament should " administer a cohesion fund for the poorer parts of the UK. "

Oh no . In no way . Thats the Barnett Rule you are talking about and that is code for the rape of England . Forget it .


MarMalcolm said somewhere above
"Remember if the Union does break up you will have to say goodbye to a significant proportion of the British Army which will make the war in Iraq which you are so keen to fight impossible."

Not so . There were 10,000 Scottish troops fighting in Marlborough's ENGLISH army on the continent in the 1690's ie long before the Act of Union 1707 . With a federal union the composition of the British armed forces would remain much the same .

Federalism is actually a strong organisational entity . It provides overall strength while allowing composite multi identity .
I suspect that if there had been a genuine British federal union from the start then Ireland would still be a happy part of it .

'If the cap fits'....Thanks 'Dontmakelaugh'.You sound like a really nice guy with a really fine tuned political antennae.
I really don't see what's wrong with EVEL together with the abolition of the Barnett formula.That way the Union may be preserved and fainess is ensured both politically and economically for English voters.
Remember if the Union does break up you will have to say goodbye to a significant proportion of the British Army which will make the war in Iraq which you are so keen to fight impossible.

Posted by: malcolm | August 07, 2007 at 14:06

Apologies for not being able to get back to you Malcolm, but I have been out playing golf (a wonderful, but frustrating and difficult game invented by the Scots and in line with the ambiguous character of Scottish politicians - you tend to exaggerate your prowess and ignore your bad shots. The game requires a handicap and at this time Broon and co are our handicap - Cameron is merely a not very useful caddy). I believe you have been out playing tennis - very English - I seem to remember it being made popular by Henry the V111 (not that I was around at the time and I think that was the last time the Tories were in power - it feels like it)

I am pleased to see that the overwhelming comments above are in favour of justice for England; are not necessary in favour of abolishing the Union and wish to see Conservative Government (not looking likely) in power. Sentiments I agree with, but there appears to be a difference of how that can be achieved and an English Parliament of some description is definitely needed.

Well, Malcolm I am not in favour of having to fight wars; neither am I in favour of being enslaved; appeasement or cowing down to those that would, by one way or another, seek to destroy us. Oh, and BTW, the Tories need to pull their fingers out - probably means giving Dave boy the heave ho. All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

I hope you enjoyed your tennis. I went round in 75 (there are a couple of holes that I don't wish to talk about - and just like Mr Broon it wasn't really my fault - nothing to do with me guv; golf just like devolution is not a fair game

@Andrew Lilico
I will answer your false dichotomy and like others above the answer is for English nationalism over Euro-regions. England is a nation like Scotland and requires equal treatment. Your doomsday scenario is the same miasma as the Europhiles use to scare us into remaining tied to the EU, a minute's sunshine and its gone.
For it is a false dichotomy. Mark's excellent proposal avoids either extreme. A federal parliament treats all the parts of the UK equally. The UK parliament negotiates for us as a nation of equals with the EU and elsewhere abroad. It is the saving of the Union. Let's hope DC is listening in France.

Mr Field,

please get rid of the Conservative party "leader". You know, the one with the scottish blood in his veins! He is a stooge.

"I would prefer to see the creation of a completely new federal parliament. Four, full, national parliaments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland..."

Well said sir! Now what are the tories going to do about it? Well, you could start by screaming "no mandate" at Brown everytime he tries to speak.

"You know, the one with the scottish blood in his veins! He is a stooge."

What an absolutely distasteful comment. Some of the views expressed here are absolutely ridiculous and bordering on very nasty territory indeed.

David | August 08, 07:43

This gives no indication of your preferred solution.

David

'Some of the views expressed here are absolutely ridiculous and bordering on very nasty territory indeed.'

Yes, Jack Straw has made the very same point in trying to entirely avoid even thinking about the issue.

As above, England is under threat as a nation and up with this we will not put. The Conservative party is the only realistic means of resistance to imosed regionalisation but seems to confuse, bewilderingly, English nationalism with a racist agenda. In the face of certain electoral domination amongst 85% of the electorate.

Why on earth is wee Gordy banging on about Britishness? What threat has he identified?

Come along Cameron, have a word with Boris.

BoJo for Mayor!

www.englandism.com

Matt 23:17:

"I have to laugh at those who think Wales and Scotland are doing better on Englands money eg re the NHS."

I was born in Scotland, I've worked in the Scottish NHS, my family has had recent direct experience of both Scottish (broken hip) & English (maternity) NHS.

It's absolutely clear to me that the NHS in Scotland is far, far better funded.

"Jack Straw has made the very same point"

Then he's absolutely right. Referring to people's 'blood' has horrific antecendents.

"England is under threat as a nation"

It isn't at all. There is a discrepency with the WLQ, but one of the barriers to dealing with it is that unlike Scotland, and to a much leser extent Wales, there is not the same level of 'national' coherence in England. The majority identify with their region/county rather than England as a whole. Further, the pressures that could create such a coherence are largely absent; England makes up a good 90% of the UK with the result that it is much easier to correspond to the overall 'national' politic in a way that smaller administrative regions may not, however unjustifiable the latter view may be.

There are some issues with funding, but there are relatively minor. You'd struggle to find a country that does not spend proportionately more of its money in areas which are relatively worse off. In fact the area with the largest per head spending is Northern Ireland, then Scotland.

Much of the comment here is reminiscent of some Scots complaining that it wasn't fair they had to put up with Margaret Thatcher despite not returning a Conservative majority of MPs; one wonders whether many of those here would accept that.

If you can go round in 75 Dontmakemelaugh I won't ever take you on at golf. You'd find it boring having to wait around for me and I'd be utterly humiliated!

David | August 08, 09:19
"..Referring to people's 'blood' has horrific antecendents."

References in this thread stemmed from the quote of DC "..I’m a Cameron, there is quite a lot of Scottish blood flowing through these veins."
About as facile and irrelevant to the topic as me mentioning that my kiddies are Anglo-Scottish ('er indoors is a pro-Union Jock) ;-)

Finally we see some common sense from the Conservative party. The unfairness with which English people are treated by the Labour party can in a sense be understood - if you consider health, then one could argue that they are trading English lives for Scottish votes, because many drugs that are available to Scots are not available this side of the border. I can understand our corrupt Labour government doing this, because south of the border the country is a sea of blue. What i can't understand is why Cameron is not opposing what is clearly unfair, unjust and unacceptable. I voted Tory in the last 3 general elections, i would consider doing so again were this view to be party policy.

James.

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